Yesterday, I banged out a blog post about the Knicks and Nets moves, with one point I left out. Russell Westbrook would be the PG to compete with Chris Paul out West if Paul stayed there. That's not why I'm writing today, it's because of the moves Westbrook's team, and other made today just as the deadline passed. Let's recap as we take a breath.
The move that set the ball in motion was the Celtics trading Kendrick Perkins and Nate Robinson to the Thunder for Jeff Green and Nenad Krstic. Both teams had more moves as Oklahoma picks up Nazr Mohammad from Charlotte for Mo Peterson and D.J. White. These moves just put the Thunder as a legitimate contender, if they weren't so already. Now, they have the size that they were lacking last year when they faced the Lakers. The Celtics weren't done unloading bigs as they traded Semih Erdem and Luke Harangody to Cleveland for a second round pick. To me, it seemed ridiculous for Boston to make all these moves to give up the size (even if they sign Troy Murphy after the buyout by Golden State) that puts them with every chance to win the title this year, until you look at how they have cap room for 2012, which is looking like another big year for free agents. Still, they are too much in the thick of this year's race to think to the future and now are dependent on a return by Shaq in the playoffs.
Houston was the other team that was particularly busy as they traded Aaron Brooks to Phoenix for Goran Dragic and a 1st rounder, after trading Shane Battier to Memphis for Hasheem Thabeet and a 1st rounder. To me, Houston is taking a big risk by taking on Thabeet and hoping he shows any of the value that made him the second pick in the 2009 draft. Otherwise, Dragic and the two 1st rounders are good pieces. Brooks has fallen out of favor, so Dragic is an upgrade for this team. As for the picks, they can use the picks to move higher in the draft this year. If I'm Phoenix, I'd use the fact they picked up Brooks to explore trading Steve Nash, for Nash's sake. Especially with Phoenix trading another 1st rounder. As for Memphis, bringing back Battier puts them in the playoffs, of course, they couldn't finish their business as a rumored O.J. Mayo trade to Indiana fell through. If Mayo can straighten up the trouble he's had this year, it could be the best trade the Grizzlies never made.
Quick rundown of the rest of the trades: The Cavs are the clear winner with their trade with the Clippers, getting Baron Davis and a lottery pick this year for Mo Williams and Jamario Moon. The Wizards trading Kirk Hinrich to Atlanta for Mike Bibby in a five player trade is more or less window dressing, though makes the Hawks backcourt younger. The other move today was the Bobcats trading Gerald Wallace to Portland for Joel Przybilla, Dante Cunningham and 2 1st round picks. Good move for Portland who became buyers and pick up an underrated scorer in Wallace. He can fill Brandon Roy's shoes and with the leap LaMarcus Aldridge made this season, the Trail Blazers can put a scare in one of the top 4 in the West.